New York tops the list of the 50 richest cities in the world

Wealth

The New York City skyline.
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New York is the richest city in the world, with 359,500 millionaires and 60 billionaires, although the Bay Area of California is close behind, according to a new study.

New York’s millionaire population has surged 48% over the past decade, despite fears of wealth flight and the Covid-19 pandemic hollowing out the city’s affluent population, according to a report from Henley & Partners in collaboration with New World Wealth. New York’s millionaire population is now larger than the entire populations of Orlando or Pittsburgh. New York residents now have more than $3 trillion in wealth, greater than the GDPs of Brazil, Italy or Canada.

San Francisco and the Bay Area, however, is catching up fast. The Bay Area’s millionaire population has surged 82% over the past decade, to 305,700 people. The Bay Area leads in billionaire population, with 68 billionaires, according to the report, which compared global wealthy populations as of December.

The U.S. is increasing its lead as the largest creator of millionaires and billionaires in the world. The U.S. is home to 11 of the top 50 richest cities, according to the report.

Over the past decade, the surge in tech wealth combined with the rise in the stock market and deal-making has created record amounts of wealth. The pandemic fiscal stimulus effectively turbocharged wealth creation, especially at the top, with the wealth of America’s top 1% surging over 40%, according to the Federal Reserve.

“The U.S. continues to dominate the world’s wealthiest cities due to its dominance of the global financial, tech and entertainment sectors,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth. “Notably, U.S. cities have significantly outperformed other western cities over the past decade when it comes to overall wealth and millionaire growth,” Amoils added.

Some cities around the world have seen a reversal of fortune. Tokyo, which was the wealthiest city in the world a decade ago, is now at third place, with its millionaire population declining 5% to 298,300 people.

London, the wealthiest city in the world for many years, tumbled to fifth place, as Brexit, Russian sanctions and other policies have slowed wealth migration. The city’s millionaire population has declined 10% over the past decade.

China cracked the top 10 for the first time, with Beijing seeing a 90% increase in millionaires over the past decade to 125,600 millionaires. Yet, its slowing economy and wealth flight are causing a reversal in wealth creation, with the millionaire population down 4% last year, Amoils said.

Singapore, benefiting from the flow of wealth out of China, climbed two spots to fourth place in the rankings, with a 64% growth in millionaires to 244,800 people. More than 3,400 millionaires moved to Singapore in 2023 alone, and Amoils said Singapore is set to take Tokyo’s place on the ranking “very soon.”

Los Angeles also rose on the list, moving up two places to sixth place with a 45% jump in the number of millionaires.

Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said financial markets have been the main engine of wealth creation around the world over the past decade.

“The S&P 500’s 24% gain last year, along with the Nasdaq’s 43% surge and bitcoin’s staggering 155% rally, has buoyed the fortunes of wealthy investors,” he said. “Rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain technology have provided new opportunities for wealth creation and accumulation.”

Here is the full ranking of the world’s richest cities, according to Henley & Partners and New World Wealth:

1. New York City

2. Bay Area, California

3. Tokyo

4. Singapore

5. London

6. Los Angeles

7. Paris & Île-de-France

8. Sydney

9. Hong Kong

10. Beijing

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